Northern Virginia DUI Lawyer
You might wonder how, but a drunk driving charge can be beaten. Find out what you should do next by speaking with a Northern Virginia DUI lawyer.
It’s commonly misunderstood, but getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is nothing like getting cited for a traffic violation. A DUI is a criminal charge, and it has to be treated seriously. Simply accepting a conviction without mounting a defense could have grave consequences for your future opportunities and wellbeing.
Getting a DUI charge dismissed or reduced is not a simple thing, however. You’ll likely need to go to court, and there will be a prosecutor actively working against you. Getting a favorable result in these circumstances requires knowledge, experience, and persuasiveness.
Priale & Racine, PLLC can help you get the best possible conclusion to your situation. Whether that involves getting your DUI charge reduced or dismissed, a Northern Virginia DUI lawyer from our firm can help.
A Drunk Driving Conviction Carries Harsh Penalties
The penalties you face upon being convicted for drunk driving escalate with the number of offenses you have. While the penalties for a first and second offense might seem light, keep in mind that you will now have a criminal record and all the attendant consequences attached to that:
- First Offense – Class 1 misdemeanor, minimum $250 fine, up to one year in jail, one-year license suspension, ignition interlock device installed in vehicle for at least six months
- Second Offense – Class 1 misdemeanor, minimum $500 fine, up to one year in jail, three-year license suspension, ignition interlock device installed in vehicle for at least six months
- Third Offense – Class 6 felony, minimum $1,000 fine, either one to five years in prison or one year in jail, indefinite license suspension
- Fourth Offense – Class 6 felony, minimum one-year jail sentence with the possibility of up to five years in prison, indefinite license suspension
Depending on how much time has passed between each DUI conviction and what your blood alcohol content (BAC) was, you might face additional fines, imprisonment, and other penalties. For example, the normal BAC threshold for a DUI is .08 percent, but at .15 percent and .20 percent you can face additional punishment.
It should also be noted that if you refuse to submit to a breath test in Virginia, it is considered a separate crime from the DUI charge. A conviction can result in the loss of your license for a full year, and there are additional penalties if you have DUI convictions already on your record.
Whatever your circumstances, your Northern Virginia DUI lawyer will be able to help you understand what penalties you are likely to face.
DUI Penalties Don’t Stop at Sentencing
If you do get convicted, you’ll face a number of penalties related to your drunk driving conviction that have nothing to do with the legal system. Perhaps most notable is the potential impact to your ability to drive and the expenses associated with it. Even if you keep your license, you can expect huge increases to the cost of your insurance. If you receive enough convictions, you might find that insurers actually start turning you down, leaving you no choice but to purchase ridiculously expensive high-risk insurance.
If you are a commercial driver, you could even lose your job and your commercial drivers license (CDL). Getting another job could become much, much harder with a DUI on your record, especially if there were compounding charges.
Finally, you might also have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. This can be incredibly embarrassing, as you’ll have to blow into it every time you want to drive.
Instead of simply accepting these consequences, you might be able to avoid them all by working with a Northern Virginia DUI lawyer from the very beginning.
You Don’t Want to Represent Yourself
While you have the option to present your own defense in court, this is not something to undertake lightly. The prosecutor is not going to take it easy on you just because you’re a novice to the court. And if you fail to make your case convincingly, you might find yourself not just convicted, but also being sentenced to the maximum penalty for your DUI offense.
A Northern Virginia DUI lawyer from our firm can make this process go much smoother for you. Not only can we handle the actual courtroom proceedings, but we can negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. Even if the evidence is such that you can avoid some level of penalty, it might still be possible to work out a plea deal to reduce your charges or achieve a lenient sentence.
Determining What Defense to Employ for Your DUI Charge
Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to figuring out how to defend against a DUI charge as these cases often seem clear-cut on the surface. You blew higher than a .08 percent on a breath test; how could that possibly be refuted?
There are actually a large number of defenses that might be employed to prove your innocence. Breathalyzers are often unreliable, and they require constant maintenance and calibration to supply accurate results. If the precinct failed to maintain the device, that could be all the proof required to introduce reasonable doubt—especially if you were cooperative and well-mannered during the traffic stop.
Other sobriety tests can also be employed, but your Northern Virginia DUI lawyer will know the best way to approach them each. For example, a balance and coordination test can be disputed if the ground you were tested on was rocky or uneven. The officer’s body or dashboard cameras might even back this up. If the jury sees you comply with the officer’s requests on the video without becoming belligerent, odds are good that we can prove your case.
Get Help from a Northern Virginia DWI Lawyer
Priale & Racine, PLLC has in-depth experience with criminal law and with drunk driving cases, in particular. Even if you feel like your case can’t be beat, there might be holes to poke in the prosecution’s case that you haven’t even considered yet. We can walk you through what happened, collect all the available evidence, and give you honest answers regarding what your best options are.
To get started with a free and confidential consultation with a Northern Virginia DUI lawyer, just give our office a call at 703-272-3922 or simply enter your information into our online contact form found at the bottom of this page.